Saturday, May 27, 2006

Fred Perry's Stockport roots

[Excerpt from Cheshire Life June '06]
Cheshire's Wimbledon champion was not a typical tennis player of his time. The All England Lawn Tennis Club was a bastion of privilege and gave a cool welcome to this son of a cotton spinner, when Perry won the men's title in 1934.
While he relaxed in the bath after his victory, a member of the All England committee presented the champagne to the loser, Australian Jack Crawford, merely draping the winner's tie over a chair without even a handshake. Perry overheard the Wimbledon official congratulating Crawford saying, "This is one day when the best man didn't win."
The 'rebel from the wrong side of the tennis tramlines' was born on May 18th, 1909 at 98 Carrington Road, Portwood. His father was a committed socialist and an official of the Co-operative Party, affiliated to the Labour Party.
Sam Perry was not easily overshadowed by his tennis playing son. He was president of his trades union at the age of 21 and a magistrate before he was 30, the youngest on the Stockport bench. Sam stood unsuccessfully for one of the two Stockport seats in the 1923 general election.